So you can read my books

Thursday, May 2, 2013


{Image of Fallen, the Broken Angel, courtesy of Leonora Roy}

Everyone you know is exhausted from the A-Z Challenge, so your readership has just joined the Titanic, right? 

I mean, that's to be expected, isn't it?

You think Neil Gaiman's blog's readership has tanked or Alex Cavanaugh's?  Nope.

But first, let’s take a high-level look at blog traffic to get our bearings:

Three Kinds of Traffic:

There are really only three distinct ways people come to your blog or website, and it pays to know what they are. Here’s how I look at it:

1. Organic traffic—

This is what I call people who arrive at your blog by clicking a link somewhere that wasn’t paid for. In other words, it coincided somehow with their own interest or curiosity.

You an divide this organic traffic into:

1. People who click your own links, like the signature file you use in your email, or the link you use as a member of a discussion forum, or when people click your link in a social media profile.

(Do you have a link in the signature file you use in your comments to other bloggers?  You should if you don't.)

2. People who click other people’s links, for instance if you contribute a guest post to another blog with a link back to your own blog, or the link in an article that’s been republished from an article site. This also includes marketing you do like entering blogfests, and all the times other writers link to your articles.

(Now, you see why getting as many guest posts and entering as many blogfests is important.)

2. SEO traffic—

Think of this as traffic that you attract from search engines by writing your blog posts in such a way that they aim at specific keywords that appear in people’s queries when they are looking for information in your field.

You can build SEO traffic through blogger tools like themes that help you optimize your posts, add-ins like Scribe ( ) that analyze your posts for SEO efficiency or other specific tools.

3. Paid traffic—

This is all the traffic that results from payments of one kind or another. For instance, you might use:

1. Pay per click, where you bid on specific keywords and then pay a small fee each time someone clicks the link that’s displayed on content-appropriate pages.

2. Advertising, like running a banner ad on someone else’s blog, or running a Facebook ad campaign.

3. Sponsorships in which you materially sponsor or co-sponsor a contest, an award or some other event that brings people to your site.

Let's say you have a new book.  Great.  You and a zillion bizillion others. 

Here's the 3 Step Formula for Success in Your Venture:

Step 1: Discover What Is Unique About Your Novel

Here’s the most important step, and if you plan on skipping it, you might as well stop reading right now.

Whenever you launch a new book, you’ve got to fill a need in the market with a solution that doesn’t exist.

I know that sounds complicated, but it’s not.

All you’ve got to do is this:

First, Take a look at your main competitors (look at the biggest and best only) and figure out their core topics and target market.

Second, Write those topics on a piece of paper, and then begin to write other topics that might be related.

Finally, Begin combining 2, 3, or 4 topics together with your personality, and you’re set.

You may not have unique ingredients, but you’ve got a unique recipe.

And that unique recipe is all that matters.

I’ll say that one more time…

For a successful launch, you don’t need unique ingredients.
You need a unique recipe.
{THE LONE RANGER is coming out this summer.  I feel it will be hot.  Native American myth and the Old West and the supernatural.  I wanted to take advantage of the interest in those subjects while it was fresh.
a unique blend of LORD OF THE RINGS meets Native American Myth.  GAME OF THRONES began March 31st, fanning the flames for magic and intrigue.
Second volley:
THE LAST SHAMAN audio book where a Lakota shaman fights Big Government and Supernatural Threats.
Third Volley:
RITES OF PASSAGE audio book -- an undead Texas Ranger in 1853 aboard a cursed transatlantic steamer lost in the Bermuda Triangle.}
{SOOKIE STACKHOUSE's last book is coming out this month.  What will TRUE BLOOD fans fill the void with?
THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH audio book and FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE audio book are both coming out this June.
They are both in a haunted New Orleans familiar and fascinating to TRUE BLOOD fans. 
The new season of TRUE BLOOD premiers on June 16 in time to coincide with the sexy, supernatural adventures of Victor Standish and Samuel McCord.
What are steps TWO and THREE?
Stay tuned ...


  1. wow, there's some kind of weird synchronicity going on in the 'verse. i just came from an article with similar advice/how-to information.

    you've provided a great example by relating your own work to the familiar franchises. and made it look so easy! makes me want to say 'doh!'

    how's it going with the audio work?

  2. Words Crafter:
    I was just thinking about my audio books and my visitors and thought about linking the two. Great minds run in the same circle!

    ACX hasn't approved THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS yet but my fingers are crossed. Chapter One has been submitted and approved for THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH.

    The first 15 minutes have been submitted and approved for RITES OF PASSAGE, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE, and THE LAST SHAMAN.

    I'm hoping my grand strategy is as smart as it sounds!! :-)

  3. i'm very excited for you, how cool! do you have an idea how long it will be to get a finished product?

  4. Words Crafter:
    THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS should be released on Audible within two weeks. But this is my first experience with them, so cross your fingers! :-)

  5. my brain is mush... i am responding in mushy words... you once again hit the ideas head strong and really flesh out the 1, 2, 3...

    and i only expect great things from you... you have the success.

  6. Jeremy:
    My brain is mush right along with yours! Seven days straight as a rare blood courier is getting to me!!

    I certainly have the stubborness if not the success. :-)

    May success be your right hand man!

  7. I'm wading through the murky waters of marketing.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  8. Unique recipe - check!
    I probably get most of my traffic organically. Sometimes a key word in the blog title will gather more traffic, but I feel like that is borderline tricking people into visiting. I could post on the latest popular craze and get a ton of hits, but does that really do anything for my books?

  9. Hi Roland .. thankfully others with know how and books out have commented - but Alex's just above makes perfect sense ... I'd rather have organic traffic ...

    I'm so pleased things are progressing with all your projects ... and I'll be glad to be among the mix ...

    7 days of blood couriering sounds a heavy dose of blood letting ... look after yourself .. cheers Hilary

  10. Roland, you spell things out in such user-friendly bites. I appreciate this information and will be pointing this post out to my friends who are new to blogland. Thank you.

    I dropped by because it's been a while. Sorry. Hi, Roland. I hope you're doing well. Have a great Friday and weekend.


  11. I haven't been faced with those problems yet (still unpublished), however, I can raise my suntanned arm and offer to help you in your journey.

    You have my email. Let me know what I can do :)

  12. Shelly:
    I wish you the best of luck with your short story!!

    How is it trickery if the key word in my title is what I write about?

    I try to vary my posts up and write about what I think will interest my friends instead of just me -- me being a good host!

    A ton of hits might bring you a new fan that you would get in no other way.

    The only way to become a self-supporting writer (my goal) is to break out of the local neighborhood into the broader spectrum of the worldwide web.

    Really like your reply -- it sparked aspects of this post that might never have been talked about otherwise. Thanks, Alex. :-)

    I am on my last legs ... and I still have the weekend to go solo! Whew! Now, you know why I want to be a self-supporting writer!!

    It has been awhile. I am so in the maelstrom of my job and my audio books that it is hard to visit my friends. Thanks for visiting and liking my post so! :-)

    I have been in the planning stages of putting together my first blog tour since the Kindle debut of THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.

    You are so gracious to offer your help even before I asked! I am planning to give away an autographed novel by Stephen King drawn from all the bloggers who host me on my new audio book tour!

  13. I'm sure my traffic will take a BIG hit until I can get my custom domain up and running again. For now, I'm back with blogspot -- but my web footprint leads straight to a dead end.